Being Prepared: The Holy Priest

Looks like Garen has got a whole series of priesting posts for my readers to enjoy. Perhaps he’ll eventually become a full time writer here… in the meantime, here’s Garen’s post on priest preparedness…


I warn you now, this post may seem a bit controlling, BUT, this is how I learned, and some of the things it taught me were actually very helpful. So, take it for a grain of salt.

When I was younger, between the ages of 12 and 18, I was in the Boy Scouts. While enrolled in that great institution, we had a motto. 
Be Prepared!
Seems simple enough doesn’t it?
Make sure you have what you need, when you need it, so that you don’t die, someone else doesn’t die, and you don’t get eaten by a bear. From that idea, with the exception of the bear thing, it seems like Boy Scouts and Priests have a lot in common. Well, Priests don’t usually carry Gnomish army knives. But that is neither here nor there.
What I intend to rant about in this space is what all a good priest needs in order to be prepared. This will include things to carry. Macro’s that are helpful. And simple tips that a lot of people/priests don’t always consider. It’s a tips and tricks of the trade kind of thing.

I’ll divide this up into two sections. I hope you enjoy.
What to Carry

The basis of being prepared is what do you take with you when you go places? This can be instances, raids, battlegrounds, etc. Everything you carry is all you have to work with. You can’t take the bank to battle.

Bags: (Big) You start the game with a single 16 slot backpack. This is enough to keep you happy until level 2. MAYBE level 3 if you are competent. But, from that point on, bigger is better. As a level 80 priest, bag space is at a premium. There are a few different methods of acquiring bigger bags. If you are the raiding type, then Zul’Aman is an option. Onyxia’s lair and Magtheridon’s lair are options as well. But if you just wanna burn the cash, then picking up tailored bags of the 18-22 slot variety is your best option. Once you have a stack of bags, you are going to want to designate ONE of them as your utility bag. Set it as your last bag slot, because we will be keeping it full of fun stuff.

Candles: (4 Stacks) Priests have three major buffs that they hand out to their parties/raids. This is Prayer of Fortitude, Prayer of Divine Spirit, and Prayer of Shadow Protection. These buffs utilize candles. Now, since a recent patch, buffs affect the whole raid, not just parties. This is limited the number of candles that each priest must carry. However, since I’m lazy, as most people are, I plan to be prepared.  I carry FOUR STACKS OF CANDLES. That’s 80 candles. That’s enough mats for around 30 buffing sessions. Put these in the bottom row of your utility sack.

Food: (2 Stacks) Food is interesting for a priest. Since you can heal yourself, you don’t really NEED to carry food, but there are those times where you don’t want to drink, heal, then drink some more. So, food is useful there. However, there is another type of food. Stat Food! That stuff is awesome. As a healy priest, I usually carry +Spell power and +Spirit food. But if that isn’t available, then anything that increases spell power or haste is always a good thing. You want two full stacks of this. Nothing is more irritating that starting a boss fight and realizing you ate your last firecracker salmon on the last fight. You want the highest level you can get your hands on.

Water: (2 Stacks) Heals take mana! Mana is restored by drinking. If your regen is high enough, then having a lot of water isn’t really needed, however, there are times you need to drink. (Flashbacks to that 10K hp “tank” at level 80 who didn’t own a shield and preferred the stats of leather and cloth!) Two stacks make sure that you are ready. You want the highest level you can get your hands on.

Potions: (1 Stack of Each) Potions come in many colors. I assume the different colors do different things, but I’m not sure what. Okay, I’m kidding. I know what they do. Considering the dynamic nature of priesting, you always need to have one stack of Mana and one stack of Health potions on you. They stack to 5, which isn’t bad, but could be better. Blizzard made it better by introducing the potion injectors. If you grab an injector kit, you can fill it with 20 charges. That’s usually a better option than only carrying 5.

Elixirs: (1 Stack of Each) Elixirs come in two styles. Battle and Guardian. Each can grant different buffs. Since I’m still leveling my alchemy, I don’t know which ones I’m going to carry yet. BUT, you’ll need one stack of each.

Weapon Oil: (2 vials) The new level 80 oils haven’t been released as of this writing, however, as soon as they are, there will be two vials of the stuff in my bag! +Spell power is preferred.

Bandages: (1 Stack) While it IS true that priests can heal themselves, there are times in combat where you are unable to heal for various reasons such as mana constraints, silence, and so forth. For this reason, your first aid needs to be maxxed out and you should have one full stack of bandages on you at all times. You never know when heals may get that critical.
Inventory of your “Utility Bag”: (Assuming 20 Slot)
1. Candles
2. Candles
3. Candles
4. Candles
5. Food
6. Food
7. Water
8. Water
9. Mana Potion/Injector
10. Health Potion/Injector
11.Guardian Elixir
12. Battle Elixir
13. Weapon Oil
14. Weapon Oil
15. Bandages
16. Profession Specific Slot
17. Profession Specific Slot
18. Profession Specific Slot
19. Fishing Pole
20. Hearthstone
How to light a fire under water

For this section, I will provide a few little tools that will make you even more useful that you already are!

Trinket Macro:  Most priests carry trinkets of the healing sort. A good number of these trinkets have a “/use” feature. And again, a good number of the priests who carry a good number of these trinkets never use a good number of these /use features. A hunter friend of mine (Dechion) found a way to combat this. I have since made it part of who I am and how I play. BEHOLD…. A macro.
/use 13
/use 14
/cast Greater Heal
The reason this is attached to the greater heal is because you use it all the time, which means your trinkets will get used all the time. Also, you won’t be opening the fight with greater heal, so you don’t waste your trinkets on a spot where they aren’t needed.

Rez that Jerk!: In scenarios where there could be multiple deaths, there is the problem of numerous healers trying to rez the same person. This causes lost time and a confusion as to who rezzed who. How do we solve this? Well, this is a throwback to days of yore in the Molten Core!  BEHOLD…. A macro.
/s %T, way to die! Now I have to rezz you. (Or some other witty comment)
/cast resurrection
Now, the “%T” is the important part, because that is what will tell the crowd who you are resurrecting. If you would like suggestions for something witty to say, you can hit the priest forums on the WOW forums. They always have a thread up about witty rez macros.

Sunscreen: A couple of years ago, Baz Lurhman put out a song called “Sunscreen”. It was about good advice that could be attributed to life. While I am not nearly as successful as he apparently was, I offer the following.

Do Not Let Your Tank Die! The results of keeping your tank alive have been proven to increase your life span and the life span of those you are partying with. This will reduce your repair costs, the cost of reagents for buffs, and frustration from your party. The rest of my advice is just that, advice!
•    Always open combat with a prayer of mending and a renew. It gives you a good start on any encounter.
•    Don’t shield the tank unless you have to, or he has sufficient threat/rage. Shielding him can cause him to not generate enough agro to keep the party safe.
•    Use your shadow fiend at every opportunity. You never know if you will be around at the end of the fight. The same goes for your  Inner Focus.
•    If you have to pick a member of your party to let die… It’s going to be the rogue.
•    You are the person keeping the party alive. If they don’t treat you well, you can always leave. But, don’t be a snob, your reputation can precede you.
•    And for the love of everything holy… You don’t need crit rating. That stuff is for mages! You want haste and spirit and regen!

That’s my series of thoughts on the above matters. Now, it may seem like this post came to an abrupt close. And you’re right. It did. I apologize for that. I’ve just been working on it for two days and I’m sick of looking at it. So there you go. I hope it helps. This is my personal contribution to being part of the priesting gustapo.

I’m gonna go write a post about how things are supposed to be pronounced.
And then I’m writing my damn farming guide. Money for free baby!


10 thoughts on “Being Prepared: The Holy Priest

  1. A couple of notes about your advices.

    PW:S doesn’t interfere with all tanks – DKs and Pallies don’t get rage when they are hit, so starting the fight with a shield can be a good idea (since it doesn’t generate threat after you’ve cast it).

    Prayer of Mending – make sure your tank has aggro on ALL the pulled mobs before casting PoM. Blizzard changed PoM’s in one of the recent patches to attribute the threat to the priest instead of the person getting healed. That means if you cast it on the tank, as soon as he gets hit once by skull, all the other mobs are going to come running for you. Personally, I find that casting it on one of the melee DPS is very nice. They usually take some sort of damage, and by the time that happens the tank usually has enough threat on all the mobs.

  2. Great post! A lot of good advice.

    For that PW:S thing… my main was a warrior for the first 3 years of wow… as a consequence, I’ve developed some aversion to shielding the tank (even though with all the chances, it doesn’t matter as much as it used to). In fact, I’d read somewhere recently that only pally tanks wouldn’t like it (something about mana regen). I usually only shield the tank when sh*t hits the fan (and I’ll throw a quick PoM and Renew)… gives me time to cast GH.

    The trinket macro is a good idea. I only remember to use the trinkets once in a while, usually before a boss. This little macro will come in handy.

    Oh, and I always throw a PoM and Renew on the tank before pulls… so far, I haven’t had trouble with the adds. If I see that some mobs start running my way, I quickly fade.

    Keep ’em coming, Garen! 😉

  3. Great post! I never carry enough of anything in my packs, so this will be my new shopping list :). Well, maybe I carry enough toys. You never know when you’ll need a Goblin Gumbo Kettle…

  4. Great post, although my Holy Concentration and Surge of Light disagree with your crit comment (It’s not one of the important attributes but it does have it’s uses.)

  5. “Weapon Oil: (2 vials) The new level 80 oils haven’t been released as of this writing, however, as soon as they are, there will be two vials of the stuff in my bag! +Spell power is preferred.”

    There won’t be any weapon oils coming according to Blizzard, otherwise warlocks won’t have to use their stones.

    “Don’t shield the tank unless you have to, or he has sufficient threat/rage. Shielding him can cause him to not generate enough agro to keep the party safe.”

    I’d say paladins are the only tanks that can get into problems when shielded as the main way of getting mana is to be healed (not overhealed). When shield absorbs damage they won’t be healed and thus can run OOM quite easily. Of course in tougher fights that won’t matter much, mostly only in 5-mans or in raids when they overgear it.

    “And for the love of everything holy… You don’t need crit rating. That stuff is for mages! ”

    … and disc priests 😉

  6. PW:S seems to have unstated mechanics lurking behind it related to aggro transfer.
    I use it often in instances when a dps is creeping up on the tank on the treat charts. I cast PW:S on the offending dps, and the aggro is transferred to me than I promptly fade and all is gravy.
    This is really noticable when you are working with an undergeared or AFK tank who isn’t pumping out enough threat. (Remember using PW:S on your tank in Deadmines runs at lvl 15?)
    So, if your warrior has enough rage to taunt and whatnot, but isn’t paying attention, PW:S might make you pull aggro.

    On the other hand, PW:S offers little known utility for icky situations.
    Also, if you have a capable warrior tank, it’s fine to throw one on himher.

    Pally tanks prefer that healers avoid damage mitigation mehanics because they gain a percentage of the amount they are healed as mana. This is due to a pally Prot talent. So, If you hit them with an uber heal when they are low on life, they get back mana for taunting and AoE (it’s a good thing!).

    Also, I’ve never pulled aggro for putting a PoM on the tank before a pull. Although, maybe if they use a face-pull things might be iffy.

  7. Hello 🙂
    Nice post, but for the love of god haste. I would not agree, more crit makes your holy concentration proc more, which you can actually rely on pretty well when having 30%+ crit raid buffed and that combined with SoL, it’s excellent. Personally I prefer to have more crit than haste atm.

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